wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE This is Awesome Report: “Most Awesome Wrestling Toys”

December 25, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE This Is Awesome Image Credit: WWE

-Merry Christmas! I assume no RAW Talk tonight, so I figured this a perfect and appropriate time to recap the newest episode of This is Awesome! I suspect many of these toys were under my tree as a child. Let’s get to it!

-Run Time: 44:55

-Greg Miller welcomes us to the show and as mentioned, today we celebrate the Most Awesome Wrestling Toys in history.

-Of course, Matt Cardona is here, and he is obsessed with action figures. Kevin Owens says he was playing with figures until he was 17 years old and is not embarrassed to say that. Only 17? Sweet, they mention the AWA figures and I had those with the steel cage. Gargano notes they still hold up as they show off a Ric Flair AWA figure. Lex Luger is here with his WCW early 90s figures and I had those as well. They were rigid, but they were cool. They play a commercial for the WCW figures where Luger has Heyman in a headlock and Lex laughs watching it. Next, they discuss the oddities like the vibrating WCW figures and they question where they were used. Damian: “They are for kids. Come on!” WWF HOCKEY FIGURES! They were part of the slap shot WWF hockey game. WWE MAXIMUM SWEAT SERIES! Yes, they made WWE figures that would sweat. Seemed revolutionary at the time. Cardona mentions figures are now collectibles and true, as there are some that are worth quite a bit of money. The talking heads just seem so happy talking about these toys! I guess this was just more of a preview and discussing some of the notable toys that won’t get a specific feature. It also introduced a bunch of talking heads: Cardona, Hawkins, Bret Hart, The Street Profits, Prison Dom, Ciampa, Gargano, Miz, Priest, Graves, Camp, Sam Roberts, Lex Luger, Rhea Ripley, Nattie, Samantha Irvin, Ricochet, and others.

LJN WWF Action Figures

-This was my childhood! Graves notes that the Hogan figure looked sickly and didn’t have the 24-inch pythons. So much nostalgia, and it kills me that my mom got rid of them at some point. Graves marks out because someone has the snake that came with Jake’s figure. The ring was amazing with the blue cage and funny enough my son got the new version of that cage for Christmas this morning. I have a photo of myself as a kid on Christmas Morning opening my blue cage and the look of sheer joy on my face is priceless. My sister then broke my ring by stepping on it. It still worked but it had a crack that I had to pop back in place at times. Nothing will ever be better than these figures or that ring.

WWF Thumb Wrestlers

-Yep! Had these as well. Actually, when we moved into a new house when I was around 5 or so, the previous family left behind two thumb wrestlers (Hogan and think Piper). The talking heads make dirty jokes about where kids were sticking their thumbs. They were also great, and Jakks Pacific brought them back for The Attitude Era and we see the Austin and HHH ones. Carmelo Hayes: “They could be fun, for a little bit.” Graves says he has never competed with them as intended thumb wrestlers. I was the same as I just used them to bounce around my ring.

Hasbro WWF Figures

-Here are the next best figures as this was the early 90s and they were smaller than the LJN, but had some kind of action to them. So great! They talk about the various commercials and Ciampa wants to know why they aren’t doing commercials like that now. They mention the Kamala with the moon on his belly that is super rare and sometimes called the Holy Grail of wrestling toys. They discuss how Rhythm and Blues were advertised, but never released. Cardona paid a bunch of money for the Valentine prototype, but won’t say how much. Don’t worry though as Curt Hawkins is here and tells us Cardona spent $24,000. The last line was the Green Card series and they are the rare of the rare. Waltman says his 1-2-3 Kid figure is worth around $1000 out of the package. Yokozuna goes for around $550. Obviously, I never got any of the Green Card series. Gargano: “I don’t know what it is about them, but you see them and feel fuzzy inside.” I still like LJN because it was my first, but these were fantastic!

Wrestling Buddies

-Graves is handed a Warrior one and says this was his childhood. They were released in 1990 by Tonka and they are pillows that look like WWF Wrestlers so you can wrestle them. I had the Hogan one! The various talking heads discuss which ones they had. Dom never got one and says it’s because he didn’t have a good dad. I guess that is Dom’s villain origin story. I Don’t blame him! We get home video of Rollins as a kid playing with his Hulk Hogan Wrestling Buddy. Fantastic! Camp says because of these, he wanted his bed to be a wrestling ring. They released a second series with Jake, Legion of Doom, and Boss Man. WCW then dropped The Brawling Buddies during the nWo era and they talked. WWE now has Bleacher Buddies and they have current stars (Cody) and legends (Undertaker). They note on the screen they are available at WWE Shop.

-I usually don’t recap Greg’s studio segments where they transition from one topic to another, but in this one they have him open a box and he has his very own, “Greg Miller Slam Buddy.” Cool! It is much smaller than Wrestling Buddies, but still, good for Greg.

JusToys Bend ‘Em

-I had a couple of these, but never got into them. Cardona notes he has the unreleased ring that has the Dink The Clown figure. If someone is going to have it, he notes it’s going to be him. Cardona is a nerd and it’s awesome! Hawkins and Cardona made their own series called Major Bendies. The original figures started New Generation and went through The Attitude Era. Dom calls them bad ass and says he is stealing two of them, and they can’t stop him. Oh Dom! You are supposed to be reformed!

Jakks Pacific Figures

-This would be the last series of figures I had until my boys just started collecting the latest series in the last 6 years. They had bone crunching action and Godfather notes they started going into crazy detail. They discuss the process of having their face scanned. Next, they created a Legends Figure line as they realized kids who grew up in the 80s were now adults or teens and wanted the wrestlers they grew up on with the new technology. The break-out the War Zone entrance set that played theme music and Carmelo Hayes can’t stop smiling. THE CATAPULT STEPS! Woods notes they were cranking out a ton of stuff and it was a good time to be into wrestling action figures.

WWE Wrestling Beanie Babies

-Beanie Babies were all the rage at one point, and WWE wasn’t about to miss a chance to make money. Woods feels bad for those too young who missed out on Beanie Baby Mania! Corbin notes he ate 17,000 Happy Meals as a kid to get all the beanie babies. WWE called their product “Attitude Bears.” I never had any of the single character ones, but I bought a WrestleMania XXVI and XXVII Bear when I attended both shows and gave them to my girlfriend (now my wife). WCW had their own version that were sold on QVC and THEY PLAY THE WOLFPAC THEME SONG! GREATEST EPISODE EVER! Graves notes they put “ass” on the Austin buddy which seemed weird for a teddy bear. Dom says he may steal one of these as well. Man is going back to The Yard!

Funko Pops

-Now, we are outside of my wheelhouse. My wife has a few Disney ones, and my son may have a Super Mario one. Apparently, there is a Snoop Dogg Funko Pop. Woods shows off his, and says it is perfect. Dawkins notes his head isn’t that big. Cardona notes they are addictive because they are also affordable and when you get one, you can’t stop. They have a translucent John Cena one because YOU CAN’T SEE HIM! That is just amazing! Aww, The Fiend! Rip Bray!

Mattel WWF Action Figures

-This would be the current series that my sons have been getting. Mattel is behind Barbie and Masters of The Universe among many others. They partnered with WWE and have the current license. They have a crazy amount of detail as the technology continues to get better. Rhea notes it is scary how much detail them put in them. Cardona says it never gets old seeing yourself as a figure. Zelina and Priest say the same thing. Dom notes he is the first person to have a figure of himself as an adult and a kid. Cool! There is a retro line that pays tribute to the Hasbro Line and they look great, but I haven’t picked those up yet. Lex says Mattel is keeping the retired guys alive. “Thank you Mattel.”

-Miller wraps things and then we get a preview for the next episode: Most Awesome Catchphrases!

-I enjoyed this episode so much, but again, this show is all about nostalgia and making you remember what it was like being a kid. When you add toys to the equation it’s like The Fountain of Youth. They touched on all the heavy hitters, and I like that they gave shout-outs to AWA and WCW for some of the toys they produced. If they really wanted to go deep, they could have mentioned M.U.S.C.L.E. Wrestling figures that were a generic line and then a WWF line. I used to carry that M.U.S.C.L.E belt around everywhere until I was able to get a kids Winged Eagle belt. Speaking of which, it’s weird they didn’t bring up those up. No matter as this episode was a blast and people in my age demo and older will enjoy. Thanks for reading!